You Say Complacent – I Say Complicit

Nothing like pulling some facts together, even though it is 2018

Of course, these elections being the midterms have a historically has very low turn out.

How low?

  • The worst midterm turnout in 50 years occurred just 4 years ago and was the lowest turnout since Mitch McConnell was a 9 months old toddler and Hitler was not just in power but was leading the Nazis in an attempt to at least bring all of Europe under Nazi control. Specifically, in 2014, 36% voted. 64% did not. Given that this was the national average, it is obvious that in some states it was even worse.
  • The best midterms turn out ever? And that ‘best’ resulted in just 48.7% of the US population turning out to vote. The corollary, of course, is that more than half of the country couldn’t be bothered and in fact can never be bothered when it comes to the midterms.

See the appendix at the end of this article if you want to read more about the data.

Here’s how I see it –

Step One.

Every single American needs to vote on November 6th, 2018. I don’t care, who they vote for, I really don’t, but it is important that a stamp of approval or rejection is applied to the enablers. If the country cannot be bothered to vote support or rejection of Trump enablement … the message will be received. America will confirm itself as ‘a couldn’t care less country’. Complacent. Complicit.

It was exciting to read that Companies in the USA such as Patagonia are making voting a priority;

“the outdoor retailer Patagonia will close up shop this Election Day, and it’s urging other companies to do the same. (read all about it)”

One more excuse removed. Wouldn’t it be great if other companies follow that lead, then bit by bit we will see barriers to voting being lifted (all the other ‘Kobach like shenanigans’ aside)?

Step Two.

IF there is a decent turn out then what are the actual results? I haven’t quantified what ‘decent turn out’ means to be honest, but here is an idea … when the UK voted for Brexit, there was a 72% turnout of the voter population. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a similar turn out at the US midterms? It would be nothing short of amazing since that level of turn out has not been seen in the USA since the Presidential election of 1900 – one hundred and eighteen years ago. In fact, 1968 was the last time voter turnout broke even sixty percent. That was just two years after the 1966 record-holding year … I guess the population was agitated back then.

Analysis Time

If the American people vote resoundingly for the current set up… that’s ok. At least the people will truly have spoken, and the world will know where America stands because right now they do not. Of course, none of this takes into consideration voter suppression, gerrymandering, Russian meddling, candidates refusal to concede …. you name it … it is all in play to stop you voting. And not what this article is addressing. Let’s go there when the inevitable excuses come out in 12 weeks and 1 days’ time.

To conclude, if I want you to take away one thing as a result of reading this, it is that;

“Power of the few will be assumed through the inaction of the many.” (2)

~John Philpin

My thanks for your attention.


(1) We all keep reading analogies between the modern times here in the USA and the rise of the Charlie Chaplin look-alike over in Germany through the 20s and 30s … but this podcast … weighing in at close to a couple of hours is well worth a listen … and that says a lot because I am not sure I have ever spent 2 hours listening to any podcast.

(2) Or to put it another way, Haile Selassie;

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” …

Facts and Data Appendix

It was in 1966 that LBJ lost 47 house seats and 3 Senate seats and the US voted Republican 5 times out of the next six elections (Carter was the single exception – and remember how he was vilified at the time). It took Bill Clinton to turn that fully around, but again – his presidency was not smooth sailing. And then Obama, where every single action he took is being systematically reversed and / or destroyed by his successor. I am not saying the Republicans are sore losers – I am just stating facts.

  • BTW, despite the losses in 1966, the Democrats still held the Senate and the House … that is how big the LBJ majorities were.

And that is how important voting is.

Although we are not voting for a president, we are voting for control of the Senate and House. Two powerful bodies who are meant to be working as a balance to absolute presidential power. But they are not. They have just fallen in line – accepting pretty much everything and anything that The President is doing – no questions.

Some Broad Data

The party of the incumbent President tends to lose ground during midterm elections: over the past 21 midterm elections, the President’s party has lost an average 30 seats in the House, and an average 4 seats in the Senate; moreover, in only two of those has the President’s party gained seats in both houses. – Wikipedia

Some Specific Data

      • In 2010 – the Democrats lost 63 seats in the House (Obama’s first midterm)
      • In 1994 – the Democrats lost 54 seats in the House (Clinton’s first midterm)
      • Bush, Bush, and Reagan had nothing like those hits – Bush ‘2’ even added in his first term – thank-you 911.

This year

In the house, a net gain of 25 seats is needed for the Democrats to take the house. That is a big ask because Republican Presidents have had mixed results;

  • Bush 2 gained 8 and lost 30 in his two midterms
  • Bush 1 lost 8 in his midterm
  • Reagan lost 26 and 5 in his midterms
  • Ford lost 48
  • Nixon lost 12

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John Philpin
John Philpinhttps://peoplefirst.business/
JOHN'S career spans 30 years, 2 continents, and organizations as diverse as Oracle, Citibank and GE. A Mathematics graduate, John moved to California in 1990. He helps technology companies create, develop and deliver their story for fund raising, market development and influencer programs. He also works with businesses to ensure they understand, and are ready, for the ever accelerating changes that technology is bringing to their industry. John is a co-founder of Expert Alumni and gleXnet and long before futurists and industry watchers were writing about the impending challenges that industries were going to be facing, they predicted a perfect storm of issues like skills gap, declining work forces, the gig economy, people trained to do work no longer needed, demographic shifts, economic and social change, market upheaval and rapidly changing ways of doing work. From the beginning they have promoted the idea that massive change was coming to how organizations should think about their workforce, with a singular focus on simplifying the interface between people and their work. Understanding the challenges ahead of the curve, the solution was built to arrive at a better understanding of the greatest restraint to business operations - competence, not capital. gleXnet provides unparalleled insights into an organizations people and operations by flipping the problem from the perspective of people, not the business.